As winter approaches, businesses and municipalities are busy preparing for the season ahead.
Unlike many businesses and industries, the supply chain has not been an issue so far in terms of winter preparation.
“All the resources are there for us,” said Jim Piccola, public information manager for the New York State Region 2 Department of Transportation. “As far as I know we have had no problem getting any equipment or supplies as we prepare for the winter season. “
The only resource the Department of Transportation has trouble with is finding plow operators.
“We are actively recruiting to fill positions,” Piccola said, adding that interested candidates should visit www.dot.ny.gov.
The Department of Transportation and Fulton County have made arrangements for the county to maintain National Highway 309 this winter.
“We’re really trying to make the most of our resources right now,” Piccola said. “We have entered into a municipal snow and ice agreement with Fulton County to clear State Route 309 this winter. They have to cross it to get to other county roads, so it makes logistical sense. “
La Nina conditions are expected in the northeast, according to the winter forecast recently released by the National Weather Service. As a result, the US winter outlook for temperature shows warmer than average conditions for most of the eastern United States.
“On average, we expect the winter to be warmer and wetter than normal,” said meteorologist Michael Mann of the National Weather Service Albany.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s seasonal outlook suggests that temperatures and total precipitation amounts will be above, near, or below average, and how drought conditions are expected to change in the coming months. The outlook does not predict seasonal snowfall accumulations as snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center updates the three-month outlook every month. The next update will be available on November 18.
In the near term, temperatures are expected to drop this week and there is a risk of snow showers.
“We expect the temperature to trend down towards the end of the week,” Main said. “Wednesday and Thursday we expect highs in the 1940s,” he said, adding snow showers were possible Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
When the snow begins to fall, municipalities and businesses in the region have declared themselves ready.
“We built a salt shed 10 years ago and it’s full right now, so we should be in pretty good shape,” said Mark Yost, superintendent of highways and facilities for Fulton County. “We are in good shape as far as the drivers are concerned. We were lucky in that regard.
The highways department has not experienced any supply chain disruptions, he said.
“I don’t foresee any problems,” Yost said. “We always try to be ready before the last week of October. We are ready to go.
The same goes for Vince Logan, vice president of Longhorn Trucking and Capital District Salt on Route 5 in Fort Plain, which supplies road salt to several municipalities.
“We haven’t really had a problem because all of our salt is mined in upstate New York,” Logan said. “All of our competitors in the region import their salt. Some of it comes from South America which could cause a supply issue at some point due to the ocean freight issues. “
Logan’s companies currently have 80,000 tonnes of salt in their covered storage building and hope to have the 100,000-tonne facility full by the end of November.
“We deliver road salt to municipalities. towns, cities, New York DOT and Thruway Authority, ”Logan said. “Last year we went to Connecticut and Massachusetts because they had supply shortages at the end of the season.”
Capital District Salt was founded in 1998 and is also the Port of Albany Site Manager for Cargill Deicing Technology.
Logan also said he was lucky his trucking business was in good shape in terms of drivers. The company transports sand, aggregate, grinds, agricultural lime and non-hazardous soils in addition to transporting salt directly from the Cargill mine in Lansing, New York.
“Not now,” Logan said when asked if he had any personnel issues. “Before, we received four to six applications per month. Now we don’t see four to six requests in a year. It’s tough there, but we have a good group of guys working for us right now.
At B&B Equipment in Gloversville, Joe Artikuski Jr. said his business was booming as customers started purchasing snowblowers in anticipation of the winter season.
“Thank goodness we have had great success with the purchase of equipment,” said Artikuski. “We have a good inventory of snow blowers and they are selling well. I think we will be selling at the beginning of this year.
He hasn’t seen much of an impact from supply chain issues impacting several other areas of the economy.
“So far we have had no problem with purchasing tires. We were lucky enough to have been able to get what we needed, ”said Artikuski.
“There are definitely things that are a bit harder to come by, but for the most part we’re in good shape. “
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